! Alert

Due to landscape clean-up post Tropical Storm Isaias, Governors Island’s public hours will be limited today, Wednesday 8/5 to 1:20PM-6PM. Click here for more info.

Due to landscape clean-up post Tropical Storm Isaias, Governors Island’s public hours will be limited today, Wednesday 8/5 to 1:20PM-6PM. Click here for more info.

Tenant Spotlight: Billion Oyster Project’s New Community Reef in Queens and Oyster Tanks in Red Hook


Billion Oyster Project, headquartered here on Governors Island, is making great strides in their mission to restore the biodiversity-boosting bivalves to New York Harbor this summer. This entry, taken from their blog, highlights their new community oyster reef (their first in Queens!) and another one details the huge new oyster tanks they've installed in Red Hook.

Monday, July 20, was a BIG day at Billion Oyster Project! The installation of 96 bags of shell, with nearly 29,000 oysters in the form of "spat", was completed by an all-women crew along the warm, but picturesque waterfront in Bayswater Point State Park.

Although we had pictured this day with local students, educators, and volunteers by our side, nearly 100 people joined us LIVE on Instagram to watch the action unfold!

"I'm really excited to be here today" said Tatiana Castro, Restoration Field Coordinator at Billion Oyster Project. "We have been working on this project for a long time and are happy to be putting these babies in the water to see how they can grow in this location."

Of the 96 bags installed, 16 were made of coconut fiber. We are experimenting with this alternative to plastic in hopes of moving towards the use of more sustainable materials across our reef sites.

This project would not have been possible without our partners Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy and New York State Parks, as well as support from Simons Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation.

We can't wait to monitor this spat on shell (pictured above) later this season. Then, when we return to monitor next summer, we hope to find that the oysters have become adults, spawned, and that the blank shells have new larvae settled on them.

Announcing the Governors Island Residency Initiative


The Trust for Governors Island, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and 18cultural organizations with space on Governors Island are joining forces to host free residency programs for artists and cultural practitioners that have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, helping to combat the devastating impact of the pandemic on the NYC cultural landscape.

The Governors Island Residency Initiative will reposition indoor spaces that were used in years past for exhibitions and public programming as residencies or workspaces for artists and other members of the City’s cultural community from August to October this year. Open to artists, writers, cultural workers and creative practitioners living and working across the five boroughs, the Initiative will provide free, temporary space to work in LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island and more than 20 historic houses in the Island’s Nolan Park and Colonels Row districts, overseen by a diverse group of cultural and educational nonprofits. After postponing all indoor public programs, organizations are pivoting their spaces to participate in the Initiative and accommodate artists in need. Artists can apply now to LMCC's Open Call for residency proposals.

New York City’s cultural community is undergoing an unprecedented level of disruption, with many experiencing either a loss of income or unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists and other cultural workers in New York and elsewhere may not be able to access or afford dedicated space to work, think, research, write, plan, rehearse and otherwise further their creative practices.

“Right now, creative solutions are needed to help the artistic community get back to work after months of disruption and shutdown,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “By partnering with the Island’s vibrant community of cultural organizations and LMCC, we can make better use of available space on the Island, while helping to support the artists that have played such an important role in shaping our history, values and identity. We look forward to welcoming an exciting group of artists and creatives for the rest of the summer and fall.”

All participating organizations will manage their own selection processes and oversee their own, independent residency programs in their spaces, including LMCC, which will launch an open call application process on Thursday, July 23 through LMCC.net.

“LMCC, the Trust for Governors Island, and the Island’s community of cultural organizations are uniquely positioned to share space, resources and programmatic opportunities for valuable cultural workers,” said Lili Chopra, LMCC’s Executive Director, Artistic Programs. “We are united in partnership to create an initiative that serves artists in our five boroughs in a just, equitable and sustainable way.”

“LMCC is committed to alleviating the unprecedented level of disruption to artists’ practices, loss of income and employment, by providing them space and support during the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented Diego S. Segalini, LMCC’s Executive Director, Finance & Administration.

“Governors Island is a truly magical place that provides the space and time for artistic production and research not possible in other parts of the City,” said Meredith Johnson, VP of Arts and Culture at The Trust for Governors Island, “The cultural organizations that call the Island home shape the cultural landscape of New York in myriad ways, and as we face one of our most uncertain moments in recent history we are grateful to have such a dedicated group of partners to mobilize efforts and pool our resources in support of the City’s cultural future.”

Once artists are in their spaces, LMCC, the Trust, and participating organizations will come together to share resources and organize virtual gatherings for artists working on the Island.

As a diverse set of institutions—spanning the arts, sciences, culture and the environment—organizations participating in the Governors Island Residency Initiative are guided by a shared set of values and priorities that will inform their individual approaches tooutreach and the selection of residency participants:

  • Serving artists and cultural workers in need of workspace in the wake of COVID-19;
  • Ensuring that artists and cultural practitioners of diverse racial identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations from across NYC have access to this opportunity and are being represented in the Initiative;
  • Seeking out artists and cultural workers whose practices give back to, or aim to make positive change within, the NYC cultural community and/or the City at large;
  • Seeking out artists and cultural workers whose practices address important socio-political issues, including but not limited to public health, gender discrimination, immigration, racial equity, climate change and environmental justice;
  • Seeking out artists and cultural workers whose practices will benefit from working on Governors Island as a public space serving diverse audiences.

Participating organizations include:

  • 4heads
  • American Indian Community House
  • ArtCrawl Harlem
  • Beam Center
  • BronxArtSpace
  • Climate Museum
  • Endangered Language Alliance
  • Harvestworks
  • LMCC
  • NARS Foundation
  • New Art Dealers Alliance
  • NY Virtual Volcano Observatory
  • NYC Audubon
  • Pratt Institute School of Architecture
  • Shandaken Projects
  • Swale
  • Triangle Arts Association
  • West Harlem Art Fund
  • Works on Water

The Trust for Governors Island oversees a vibrant arts and cultural program, inviting a range of organizations to present exhibitions and programs in the Island’s historic houses each season while presenting impactful public art projects to diverse audiences. Artist residencies and studio programs have been part of the Island’s cultural fabric since it first opened to the public in 2005. Current and past on-Island residencies include those by LMCC, Shandaken Projects, 4heads, Triangle Arts Association, MoCADA, Pioneer Works, Syracuse University, SVA, Works on Water and more. In 2019, LMCC opened its Arts Center at Governors Island, the first permanent home for artists and audiences on Governors Island that serves as a gathering place and incubator for new works.

Your Guide to What’s Open on Governors Island


Governors Island is now open. Before visiting the Island, please familiarize yourself with our health and safety protocols. Visitors are required to wear face coverings on the ferry and the Island, and must reserve tickets in advance here.

This year, the Island is open for passive recreation activities like biking, birding, and picnicking. There is currently no indoor programming on Governors Island. Read on for a list of what’s open, and see what’s closed at the end of this post. Have a great time on Governors Island and remember to stay 6 feet apart!

Food and Drink
Governors Island is an outdoor dining destination! Sample a wide variety of cuisines like Jamaican fusion at Fauzia's, tasty tacos (and incredible views) at Taco Vista, wood-fired pizza at Pizza Yard, sweet treats from People's Pops and many more delicious options. All Governors Island vendors have introduced enhanced health and safety measures. See the full lineup of new vendors and returning favorites here.

Wide-open Parkland
Soak up Governors Island's ample green space. Lie back in Hammock Grove, hike up The Hills to take in the view, bring a meal and dine al fresco at Picnic Point, and discover everything our parkland has to offer. Ship out and take in the fresh air, lush foliage and sweeping views in the park.

Public Art
See incredible works by award-winning artists throughout the Island. From Shantell Martin's Church, a commission for our 2019 season, to Rachel Whiteread's Cabin, nestled serenely on Discovery Hill, Governors Island provides a setting for public art unlike any other. It's a can't-miss trip for art lovers!

Island History
Take a stroll through history with Urban Archive. Embark on the official Governors Island Digital Walking Tour to learn the history of the Island and see stunning archival photos on Urban Archive. Then, discover other walks that examine different parts of the Island's past. Governors Island's history comes to life on Urban Archive.

Bike the Island
Cyclists, rejoice: seven miles of car-free paths are now yours to pedal. Bring your bike on the ferry for free or rent one when you get the Island, then set out on a scenic spin. Blazing Saddles rents bikes, scooters, surreys and more every day (with free one-hour rentals before noon on weekdays) and three Citi Bike stations make it easy to get moving.

Urban Farm
Dig into environmental science at the Urban Farm! GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden features over 20 vegetable beds made from recycled plastic lumber, farm-style rows, an aquaponics system, a high tunnel greenhouse, fruit trees, several rainwater harvesting systems, a rain garden, and more. Earth Matter’s Compost Learning Center processes all of the food scraps and landscape debris generated on Governors Island, and some Manhattan residential collections. Much of the compost is used here on Governors Island! The Urban Farm is open for passive visits only, Saturdays and Sundays 12-4PM.

The following attractions are currently closed. Please check back for more updates.

Governors Island National Monument: Castle Williams and Fort Jay are closed to the public. Learn more at nps.gov/gois

Adventures at GI: All attractions including mini-golf, the zipline and puzzle maze are currently closed.

LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island: Galleries and café are closed to the public. Bathrooms are still open—enter at Soissons Landing.

Indoor Programming: There are no indoor public programs in Nolan Park and Colonels Row. The houses are off-limits to visitors.

Playground NYC’s The Yard: currently closed to the public.

Free kayaking with the Downtown Boathouse: The Pier 102 kayak dock is currently closed to the public and free kayaking sessions are not being offered.

Governors Island Reopens to the Public on July 15


NEW YORK (July 8, 2020) —The Trust for Governors Island announced today that Governors Island will reopen to the public with limited capacity for passive recreational activities on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Starting that day, Governors Island will be open to visitors daily from 10AM to 6PM on weekdays and 10AM to 7PM on weekends.In order to serve New Yorkers most in need of open space, The Trust is launching an extensive outreach initiative and offering free ferries to all New York City Housing Authority residents and community organizations across the city. Brooklyn ferries will also be redirected from Pier 6 to Red Hook’s Atlantic Basin, beginningSaturday, July 18.

The Trust initially postponed its 2020 season in April in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health and safety of its visitors, staff, tenants, vendors and community of cultural organizations. To ensure a safe environment for all visitors, The Trust will launch a number of health, safety and social distancing protocols upon reopening, including a new ticket reservation system to manage capacity on ferries. With these measures in place, visitors will be able to safely enjoy the Island’s wide-open park spaces, historic surroundings, and stunning public art while engaging in passive recreation activities like biking, birding, picnicking and much more.

“Equitable access to open spaces in our city has never been more important, so we’re thrilled to welcome New Yorkers to Governors Island in just a few short weeks,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “This summer, Governors Island will be an affordable, local getaway for New Yorkers who need it most.We’ve focused on a plan to make the Island more accessible to New Yorkers in areas underserved by parks this season, and have taken important steps to ensure the health and safety of our visitors. We look forward to seeing everyone on the ferry!”

“Governors Island is an idyllic place for New Yorkers to spread out and enjoy summer in the City,” said Alicia Glen, Chair of the Trust for Governors Island. “While the season was cut short by the pandemic, the Trust has worked around the clock to increase access to the Island for those hardest hit. I look forward to enjoying the views from the Island’s fabulous outdoor dining spots – thank you to the Trust staff and all of our partners for giving New Yorkers safe and secure access to one of the City’s true gems.”

“We’re thrilled to reopen Governors Island this July, in order to provide New Yorkers even more ways to celebrate summer, safely,” said Deputy Mayor Vicki Been. “Governors Island has put smart, thoughtful plans in place to ensure safety and to be a respite for communities across the five boroughs at a time when open space is needed more than ever. As in all parks, for your safety and for those around you, visitors should continue to practice social distancing and wear a face covering when on the ferry and while enjoying all that the Island has to offer.”

“As New Yorkers seek opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor spaces where they can maintain social distancing and adhere to health guidelines, the re-opening of Governors Island comes at the perfect moment,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “This summer, the public will once again be able to explore the history, green spaces, and excellent views of the Manhattan skyline available on Governors Island. I thank the Trust for Governors Island for expanding access to the Island’s invaluable open space to more New Yorkers during this time by waiving ferry fees for NYCHA residents, seniors and select community-based organizations.”

“This announcement is great news for Red Hook and our entire City. Although social distancing is far from over, public outdoor spaces provide a much-needed escape from the confines of our homes,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. “With Red Hook’s ball fields still closed, the reopening of Governors Island is an excellent alternative for families to enjoy open spaces and fresh air. Red Hook residents have always enjoyed a great view of Governors Island, but still find it inconvenient to get there. This will change with this summer’s direct ferry service from Red Hook, offering recreational opportunities exactly when families yearn for outdoor summer fun. I am particularly thankful that the Trust has offered free ferry service to NYCHA residents and local community groups, which will mean even more of our neighbors can visit the Island this summer. I am looking forward to enjoying the fresh air and cannot wait to see the island alive with activity once more.”

“At a time when New Yorkers need good news, I'm thrilled Governors Island will be open this summer,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.“The Council has been fighting to save summer for as many New Yorkers as possible, and to have a gem like this one open and accessible is a big win. The Council is glad to see the Trust for Governors Island has a plan to ensure New Yorkers are able to enjoy this beautiful space safely, and I encourage all New Yorkers to continue practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings as recommended by health officials.”

"Summer is not cancelled, with responsible planning! I thank the Trust for Governors Island for all its work to make this reopening possible" said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. "Our public parks are a public health resource, and I am thrilled that this 172-acre gem in the heart of New York Harbor will soon be open for families to enjoy and safely social distance. With free ferries being offered to our neighbors at NYCHA and local community groups, I highly encourage all of my constituents to come out and enjoy the sun. Thank you to Clare Newman and all the staff at the Trust for their unwavering commitment to protecting New Yorkers' health and safety this summer and expanding access to open space."

“As the City recovers, we need more parks and large spaces to reopen so New Yorkers can enjoy the summer while social distancing. Governors Island's plan to move a ferry stop to Red Hook and provide free ferries for NYCHA residents strikes that balance perfectly. I am proud to support their reopening plan and look forward to joining residents there to take in the unparalleled sight of New York Harbor flanked by Red Hook, Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty,” said City Council Member Carlos Menchaca.

“As we implement new ways for New Yorkers to enjoy the outdoors while also safely social distancing, news that the 172 acres of Governors Island will re-open to New Yorkers is an exciting boost to our city's open space capacity,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera. “I am particularly thankful to the Trust for offering free ferry service to some of the communities hardest hit by the pandemic, namely seniors and NYCHA residents. With partnerships like this, we can ensure a safe and enjoyable summer for vulnerable New Yorkers who are seeking some time outside their homes.”

"I adore Governors Island-- it's considered part of Manhattan, after all-- so I'll be thrilled to be able to visit again once it reopens, even under the needed social-distancing guidelines on the ferries and beyond," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I applaud the Trust for Governors Island for launching free ferry reservations for NYCHA residents and community organizations-- giving everyone the chance to enjoy free recreational open space when we need it most."

“This is welcome news for the residents of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, and all New Yorkers who appreciate the wonders of Governors Island,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh, who represents the Island and nearby parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. “After spending much of the year sheltering in place, we now can venture out to explore Governors Island’s lush greens, wide-open spaces, breathtaking views, and historic architecture. I applaud the Trust for Governors Island for their stewardship of the island, and their efforts to reopen access with appropriate social distancing and safety guidelines in place for the benefit of all visitors.”

"I thank the Trust for Governors Island for thinking of all New Yorkers by providing ferry service from Atlantic Basin/Red Hook to Governors Island this year," said Assistant New York State Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz. "There has never been a more important time to provide all community members access to fresh air and the ability to maintain social distancing. The free ferry rides for NYCHA residents will ensure everyone has equal access to this beautiful Island. Fresh air, open space and a stunning view is just what we all need now."

"Manhattan Community Board 1 and the lower Manhattan community are excited for the re-opening of Governors Island,” said Anthony Notaro, Jr., Chairperson, Manhattan Community Board 1. “This jewel of our city will offer a welcome environment for all to enjoy. Although initially, there will be a limit on the capacity of the island, it is a sign of moving into the future in a positive way."

“People in our district, and across the city, are going to need more and more safe open space as this pandemic continues through the summer,” said Michael Racioppo, District Manager, Brooklyn Community Board 6. To that point we’re always happy when Governors Island opens up, but especially this year”

“We can’t wait to welcome New Yorkers back to Governors Island to enjoy a true escape from the concrete jungle,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “At a time when our city needs open green space more than ever, the Island brings fresh air, cool harbor breezes and plenty of room to bike, picnic and relax. We’re so grateful to our supporters and volunteers for helping us make the 2020 season safe and welcoming for everyone.”


Beginning July 15, ferries will depart daily from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan. Capacity on Governors Island’s ferries will be limited during the 2020 season to allow for social distancing. For the first time, visitors will be able to reserve tickets in advance through a new reservation system.A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase in person for each time slot, and will be made available to the general public on Friday, July 10 at 10:00AM by visiting govisland.org.

To increase access for communities less served by open space in New York City, Brooklyn ferries to Governors Island will depart from Atlantic Basin/Red Hook rather than Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 in 2020. Brooklyn ferries will begin service on Saturday, July 18 and will run on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets for Brooklyn Ferries may also be reserved at govisland.org beginning July 10.

Round-trip ferry tickets will cost $3 for adults. Ferries are always free for riders age 12 and under as well as Governors Island Members, IDNYC holders and current and former military service members. Ferries are now also free for all New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents and seniors 65 and over. Morning ferries before noon on Saturdays and Sundays are free for all. There is no surcharge for bicycles at any time. Visitors are required to wear face coverings at all times while traveling on Governors Island ferries.

The Trust will offer special waived fares for non-profit community-based organizations, youth camps, and senior centers throughout New York City. To inquire about special group visits, organizations may email groupvisits@govisland.org.

The city’s NYC Ferry service will offer additional connections to Governors Island’s Yankee Pier via a dedicated weekend shuttle from Wall Street/Pier 11 which will operate approximately every 30 minutes. Tickets are $2.75 or by free transfer from any NYC Ferry route. All visitors who arrive to Governors Island via NYC Ferry are strongly encouraged to depart using NYC Ferry as the Governors Island ferry service will operate on a reservation ticket service and walk-up tickets are not guaranteed. NYC Ferry riders are required to wear a mask or face covering while onboard, even on the upper deck. For ticketing information and for a full schedule, please visit www.ferry.nyc.


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governors Island will operate with limited services and will remain open for passive recreation activities only, such as hiking, walking and running, biking and birding throughout its expansive landscapes.

Visitors can enjoy sweeping, 360-degree views of the surrounding skylines and Harbor landmarks like the Statue of Liberty from the summit of Outlook Hill. Hammock Grove provides a relaxing respite in comfortable hammocks tucked cozily into secluded pockets in the foliage. Kids will enjoy climbing and swinging at the Hammock Grove Play Area and zipping down Slide Hill’s collection of twist-y, turn-y slides including a tandem slide and the longest slide in the city at 57 feet long. The Urban Farm will be open Saturdays and Sundays for visitors to explore GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden and Earth Matter’s Compost Learning Center.

Public art installations remain on view, including Shantell Martin’s The May Room, a commission for the 2019 season, Rachel Whiteread’s Cabin, a permanent installation on Discovery Hill, and more.

Bike rentals will be available from Blazing Saddles and Citi Bike, and visitors may bring their own bikes on Governors Island ferries for no additional fee to enjoy the Island’s seven miles of car-free bike paths. Blazing Saddles also rents pedal cars, surreys, scooters and more and will offer free one-hour bike rentals on weekday mornings before noon. Heightened cleaning and safety protocols will also be implemented.

Visitors will be able to embark on self-guided tours offered through Urban Archive. Visitors can follow the physical route of these walks across the Island using their smartphones, revealing new historic photos as they go. A variety of Governors Island self-guided walks exploring its history and transformation are available on govisland.org and through Urban Archive’s app.


Food and beverage vendors offering a wide range of options will be available for Island visitors to enjoy upon reopening. AllGovernors Island vendors will comply with the latest food service guidelines and adhere to health and safety plans thatminimize person-to-person contact, emphasize hygiene, and allow for social distancing in serving areas.

This year’s vendors present at opening will include:

  • Island Oyster, a one-of-a-kind destination featuring easygoing summer fare, tropically inspired cocktails and panoramic views
  • Taco Vista, purveyors of tacos, margaritas, craft beer and some of the best views from Governors Island
  • Fauzia’s Heavenly Delights, an award-winning Jamaican-fusion establishment offering Caribbean classics and homemade desserts as well as vegan and gluten-free options
  • Kimchi Taco, which serves Korean-inspired tacos and bowls as well as appetizers
  • Makina, which serves traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean food with a modern twist
  • Threes Brewing and The Meat Hook, two Brooklyn mainstays that will combine local craft beer options with offerings from the acclaimed butcher shop
  • The refreshing, delicious gourmet ice pops and slushes of People’s Pops
  • Melt Bakery, whose unique cookie and ice cream flavor pairings create surprising and delightful ice cream sandwiches
  • Venezuelan-style hot dogs complete with mounds of toppings and accompaniments from Perros Y Vainas
  • Coffee and tea plus sweet treats and light bites from Joe Coffee
  • Shareable snacks and takeaway lunch options from Three Peaks Lodge at Collective Retreats
  • Little Eva’s, a longtime Island establishment offering summertime grilled fare as well as sister location, Sea Biscuit, which features picturesque Harbor views
  • Pizza Yard brings gourmet Neapolitan and Roman-style wood-fired pizzas to historic Colonels Row
  • Sweet and savory crepes from Everything About Crepes make a perfect lunch, snack or dessert
  • Wings Lovers offers a robust range of flavors and options to satisfy any chicken wing enthusiast
  • Terry & Yaki specializes in halal teriyaki chicken bowls along with vegan options and snacks
  • Authentic Belgian waffles heaped with tasty toppings at Wafels & Dinges


For the safety of visitors, the Trust will implement increased cleaning protocols and schedules in all restrooms, in passenger compartments aboard ferries, and in high-touch areas across the Island.

Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations will be installed throughout the Island.Ferries, restrooms, ATMs, bike rentals through Blazing Saddles and Citi Bikes will also be regularly disinfected. These and other steps will be taken to ensure a safe and healthy visit for Island patrons.

All visitors will be required to wear face coverings while riding the ferry, or when social distancing is not possible.


Following local, state and federal guidelines, some changes will be implemented to Governors Island amenities. Outdoor event permits and permits for team athletic field use will be postponed until at least August 1, and indoor public programs will be postponed until at least August 31. Governors Island National Monument, including Fort Jay and Castle Williams, will remain temporarily closed. For updates on service changes on Governors Island, please visit www.govisland.org.


During its reduced season, New Yorkers will continue to enjoy access to the best of Governors Island and its programming, whether they are able to visit in person or not. In May, The Trust launched Governors Island at Home, a hub of free interactive tours, resources and virtual programs related to the Island’s history and natural surroundings, as well as its community of programming partner organizations. Governors Island at Home can be accessed at govisland.org.

For the latest information, including ferry schedules and service changes in response to COVID-19, please visit www.govisland.org.

To Our Community


Black Lives Matter. The Trust for Governors Island and Friends of Governors Island stand with all who condemn systematic racism, violence and injustices against black people and communities of color.

It is more important than ever that public spaces, including our own, do more to increase accessibility and amplify the diverse voices of New York City. We re-commit ourselves to constantly examining and strengthening our continued efforts to ensure that Governors island is a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment for all.

Support Governors Island on #GivingTuesdayNow, May 5


With 120 acres of open space, Governors Island is a natural haven for New Yorkers. While the Island’s opening is delayed, the need to care for and maintain our park continues during this challenging time. On Tuesday, May 5, we’re participating in the global day of giving, #GivingTuesdayNow to raise funds and support for this oasis in New York Harbor.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 to help care for the Island’s 120 acres of open space during the weeks and months ahead. These funds will support our park maintenance staff in providing critical care for the Island’s landscapes, so all New Yorkers can enjoy the Island when we’re able to welcome you back to its shores. There are lots of ways to support us on #GivingTuesdayNow:


Parks and open space have always been a respite for New Yorkers during challenging times, and we look forward to offering Governors Island as an oasis for rest, reflection and relaxation as soon as we’re able. Help us ensure that Governors Island’s park will be cared for and ready to welcome visitors when that time comes. Together, we’ll keep Governors Island vibrant.

A message on Governors Island’s 2020 Public Season from Clare Newman, Trust for Governors Island President and CEO


Dear Friends,

All of us at the Trust for Governors Island know how challenging these unprecedented times are for New York City. As we navigate the impacts of COVID-19 on our daily lives, we are reminded of just how important open space and cultural resources are to our communities, and how they enliven our city.

With a heavy heart, the Trust has determined it must delay our originally planned May 1st opening of the 2020 public season on Governors Island. The health and safety of our visitors, staff, tenants, vendors and community of cultural organizations is our top priority, and we are committed to supporting the City’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. We look forward to soon announcing when we will be able to welcome you back to the Island this year.

The Island is continuously responding to guidance at the Federal, State and Local levels, and has already implemented the following measures:

  • Limiting access to Governors Island to essential staff and tenants only
  • Educating our staff, volunteers, and programming partners on preventative measures and social distancing in line with recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and the New York City Department of Health
  • Dramatically increasing cleaning protocols in common areas

Though closed to the public, we are looking to find new ways to connect New Yorkers to Governors Island’s rich history, waterfront ecology, innovative landscapes and diverse art and culture, starting with virtual programming over these next few weeks for some needed springtime joy. Please explore our website or follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, where we’ll be sharing daily bloom photos and digital resources to stay connected.

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you on the ferry soon.


Clare Newman
President and CEO
The Trust for Governors Island

More spring blooms appear on Governors Island


As springtime continues, blooms on Governors Island show no sign of slowing down! Since the Island is closed, we present some of our most brilliant recent blooms here in lieu of seeing them in person. Last year, our Horticulture team planted a variety of bulbs in beds across the Island. Now, these gorgeous flowers have finally arrived. A selection of multicolored tulips brighten the outside of Building 108 above. See more below and some of our earlier blooms here.

Yosemite tulip

Amazing Grace tulip

Double Negrita tulip

Paula Scherer tulip

Priceana common blue violet

Vancouver tulip

Celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Week


Happy Volunteer Appreciation Week!

A vibrant and unique resource for all New Yorkers, Governors Island is truly a special place. To keep this special place welcoming and beautiful, Governors Island relies on dedicated volunteers and supporters. Every year, thousands of New Yorkers volunteer with the Friends of Governors Island. They lend a hand helping our gardening team care for the Island's 120 acres of open space and providing information and free walking tours to the Island's nearly 1M annual visitors.

In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Week, The Friends would like to celebrate the 350+ individuals and groups who have dedicated over 25,000 hours to making Governors Island a welcoming and beautiful place for all New Yorkers. Thank you for your support!

Whether relaxing in an Adirondack chair after a volunteer shift, discovering a robin’s nest, or bonding with one of our working dogs, Max, each of our volunteers has a special connection with Governors Island. Please join us in celebrating our amazing community of volunteers who make Governors Island the special place that it is.

Do you love Governors Island, too? There are many ways to get involved.

Photo credit: Governors Island volunteers, who captured some of their favorite Governors Island moments over the years.

Springtime blooms emerge across Governors Island


Governors Island is closed, but seasonal changes continue to sweep across the landscape. From the Historic District to Picnic Point, beautiful spring blooms are appearing everywhere! Above, a Prunus ‘Snow Goose’ flowering cherry’s brilliant white blossoms light up Liggett Terrace.

Pink magnolias contrast with the blue sky near Castle Williams.

Star magnolias emerge in dazzling numbers on Colonels Row.

This summersweet, whose flowers form in long clusters called bottlebrushes, aids drainage as part of a bioswale in the Urban Farm (and looks great while doing it).

Saucer magnolia buds are nearly ready to unfurl at the foot of Discovery Hill.

A variety of bright daffodils dot the Historic District along with an assortment of wildflowers.

Hibiscus buds appear small for now but will soon become impressively large, scarlet blooms in Liggett Terrace.

Vibrant cornelian cherry flowers match the iconic yellow houses of Nolan Park. As spring progresses, more and more blooms will appear on Governors Island—follow us on social media for the latest floral developments!

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